It seems with each passing week there’s more pressure on the Washington Redskins to make a name change. If things play out the way one Native American group would like, the Cleveland Indians might be forced to make a name change before the Redskins.
Robert Roche, director of the American Indian Education Center, is planning to file a federal lawsuit against the Cleveland Indians organization in July. The lawsuit will go after not only the team’s secondary logo (Chief Wahoo), but also its nickname.
“We’re going to be asking for $9 billion and we’re basing it on a hundred years of disparity, racism, exploitation and profiteering. It’s been offensive since day one. We are not mascots. My children are not mascots. We are people,” said Roche.
You read that correctly — $9 billion.
Roche is also the leader of People Not Mascots. The group is hoping to get the franchise stripped of its trademark on the Indians nickname, similar to what happened to the Redskins recently.
So at this point the writing is on the wall for teams using Native American slurs, nicknames and/or logos. The time will come when franchises like the Indians and Redskins are forced to change their names. As more groups of people speak out against them, and people in general, the days of Indian-themed sports franchises will tick away.
Whether you think the nicknames are offensive, is really beside the point. The point is that there are plenty of nicknames out there that don’t offend anybody. There’s really no reason for teams like Washington and Cleveland to not consider an alternative moniker.